Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


How to double your sales

marketing & sales Jul 21, 2020

One of the business areas in which I never lacked a flood of good and bad examples is marketing and sales. I find it continuously remarkable how many opportunities for revenue and profit are missed out, ignored and sometimes even actively turned down. 

Let’s get directly to the point. Here are three practices for growing your revenue and profit instantly.

The key: They are not extremely difficult to understand and implement. Most leaders nod their head when I present them at my workshops. 

However, as the saying goes, what is easy to do is also easy not to do. And this is what I see in most businesses: a gap between understanding and implementing. OK, here are my tips, ready to be implemented: 

  1. Follow up. I am constantly stunned about the lack of follow-up at most businesses. I don’t even need to cite the well-known examples at restaurants and hotels where I never ever get any personal and creative offers and invitations after staying with them. No, all...
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What an amazing change!

leadership Jul 16, 2020

Let me be honest: If I had predicted a year ago that people from the USA would no longer be allowed to enter the EU, that we would only be allowed on trains with masks on or that it is clear that no one knows where we will stand economically at the end of the year, would you have believed me?

Well, now we're in the middle of it - and you're probably feeling the same way as me: Somehow, things are progressing nevertheless - in some cases, not even badly. And what was unimaginable yesterday is now the new normal.

And this is exactly the reason why we, as a human species, despite very unfavorable physical conditions, have made it this far (for better or worse): We are collectively and consciously extremely adaptable.

Here comes the point for you as a leader or CEO: We are good at adapting to constraints, but we are bad at anticipating change. That's the problem with any culture change: If people don't FEEL the absolute necessity, they won't change anything.

Here are three areas in...
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The success of small steps

leadership productivity Jul 14, 2020

I’m sure you know the answer to the old question “How do you eat an elephant?”. Here it is: “One bite at a time!” 

As simple as this sounds, very few people – and in particular business leaders – get the reverse meaning in this answer:

By taking small steps in the right direction, you will ultimately achieve big results – no matter your goals. 

Let me give you some examples: If you learn a new sales technique every day, you will ultimately become better at sales. If you do a workout once week, you will become healthier. 

This sounds easy, right? Why, then, are so few people applying this method of small step improvements? The reason is three common traps: 

  1. Slow progress initially. Yes, it’s true, after the first few steps, you will hardly see any progress. It’s tough for everybody to stay on course without clear, positive feedback in terms of results.
  2. Out of the comfort zone. Many activities for...
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Full responsibility!

leadership Jul 09, 2020

No, it's really not easy. And occasionally unfair. And sometimes most of us feel that we'd rather not do it.

What am I talking about? Maybe you guessed: taking responsibility.

If I had to name one single lever that makes the biggest difference between sustainable success and mediocrity, it would be precisely this: the best people take full responsibility, even for what they cannot do anything about, while some wait or blame others - or both.

Here is the point: We can only act fully responsibly if we first take full ownership for the situation - whether we can do anything about it or not.

In my experience, there are 3 levels of responsibility-culture in companies of all kinds. Your success is largely determined by which level you are at. So, you better know where you stand. 

Here are the 3 levels of responsibility:

Level 1: Inner denial. Here, we even have problems with people coming to meetings on time and prepared and keeping promises. This is the lowest level, because...

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Do they understand you?

leadership Jul 03, 2020

Many leaders have a hard time getting their people to engage and act. The key is an element in your communication which I explain in the video and which is crucial for your impact on others.

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Does Your Business Suffer From the Department Store Effect?

leadership strategy Jul 02, 2020

Note: The following article has nothing to do with department stores, but very much with the future of your business, regardless of the industry.

The other day, I stumbled across a nice statistic that clearly shows how the retail market has changed in recent years: fewer and fewer people go to department stores anymore.

This is nothing new. We have known about this trend for years. But here is my point: how many department stores have managed to profitably implement their mission (creating shopping experiences) in other ways? You know the answer: none or hardly any.

The astonishing thing is that every business school and dozens of manager books teach that we have to constantly question our business model in order to remain successful tomorrow. What drove big money into the company’s pockets yesterday may be irrelevant tomorrow. So why don’t the management teams of many companies put this simple insight into practice?

Here are three reasons for sticking with old...
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A psychology crash course for managers

leadership Jun 30, 2020

One key differentiator between extremely successful managers and average ones is their knowledge and practice of basic psychological concepts.

The point is this: you don’t need a comprehensive study in psychology to be ahead of 90 percent of people. 

The benefits for you as a leader are more engaged people, higher productivity, faster change, more control, and –yes– more joy and happiness. 

Here are the three ideas I have found most useful for going from average to outstanding success: 
  1. Success is less about WHAT we achieve, but WHO we become. This is powerful because it shifts the perspective from the “external” thing we want to get to our “internal” side, our personality. First, we become a person of success, then we attract success. Never the other way round!
  2. Don’t wish it were easier, but wish you were better. This statement addresses the issue that too many people – including leaders – see the...
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Save an hour each day!

productivity Jun 28, 2020

I while ago, I performed a seminar for the association Executives International in Switzerland. The topic: “How to double your results – in half of the time!” The feedback was outstanding.

Since many people find this topic one of the most important of all (who has too much time?), I’d like to give you three ideas you can apply today to get more done in less time:

  1. Clarify your key result areas. At which subject areas do you create the most value? You can answer this question for your private and your professional life. Then, schedule your tasks in a way that you spend 80 percent of your time on these activities. This requires some habit changes.
  2. Reduce time thieves. These are people, meetings, and events which do not or only contribute a little to the achievement of your goals in the key result areas. As a rule of thumb, most executives can reduce their time in meetings by half. You should at least spend 50 percent of your time under own control.
  3. Work in...
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Strategy: Are You Asking the Right Questions?

leadership strategy Jun 25, 2020

For many companies, things have changed with COVID-19 and the lockdown. It is only logical to look at whether the strategy still fits and where adjustments are needed, right? Wrong!

If you had a robust strategy, then very little will need to change. But if your strategy was on thin ice, then it is more than appropriate to rework the strategy anyway. The past few weeks have been just the stumbling block that provided the necessary impetus.

Even if you think that you have a strong and robust strategy, I still see three issues that receive far too little attention when it comes to successfully shaping the future. It would be best for your company or your division to look at them immediately. Time is pressing!

Here are the three decisive and mostly underexposed questions for strong strategies:
  1. Who do we want to become? This question is hardly ever asked seriously, but it is at the beginning of everything. How can we combine our strengths and strive together to reach outstanding goals...
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The laws of the success universe

leadership mindset Jun 25, 2020

It’s an interesting thought: All of your failures and your reasons you don’t unleash your true potential come from ignorance of universal success laws. Sounds weird? Let me explain it with an analogy: 

You are consistently exposed to the law of gravity. The universe doesn’t care if you like it, if you agree to it, or if you ignore it. It simply works. When you let your smartphone slip through your fingers, it will inevitably fall. No protests help change this reality. 

Well, also for any success – and for happiness – there are universal laws at play. Their violation leads to mediocre results or even to massive failure. And that’s what happens to almost all businesses, teams, and people: They wonder why they are stressed and don’t achieve more (like others do). They take action here and there. However, if they don’t act more consistently to the universal laws, they will always remain below their potential. 

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